(From thewest.com.au) Perth, Western Australia – The opposition has called for Parliament to resume early and pass through tough penalties over the shark slaughter on the north-west coast. The call comes after Fisheries Minister Norman Moore today revealed charges had been laid over the discovery of mutilated shark remains found scattered across 80 Mile Beach. Mr Moore said he expected more charges to be laid and that matter would come before a Broome Court sometime in February.
Shadow fisheries minister Jon Ford said time was the only hurdle in introducing new legislation to jail fishermen who kill sharks for their fins then dump their remains.
“This is the worst case of abuse that I have seen in fisheries in my time as fisheries minister, in fact it’s the worst type of environmental disaster I have ever witnessed in my life,” he said.
“This is the sort of incident that can really tarnish Australia’s reputation internationally.
“Let’s get back to Parliament early, get back to work and introduce penalties which reflect the serious nature.”
Pictures sent to the Department of Fisheries 10 months ago and revealed by the media last week showed the magnitude of the carnage and illegal dumping.
Authorities have warned of a growing black market for popular finfish, such as dhufish, as stocks become scarcer.
Mr Moore yesterday said the Government was looking at a report from a committee set up by Mr Ford, the previous minister, which recommended harsher penalties.
(By ALEISHA PREEDY)